The Best Affordable Workout Leggings

best affordable workout leggings

As someone who wears fitness apparel every day, most of the day, I’m pretty picky about my brands. Some of my favorite brands include Lorna Jane and Alo Yoga, but those brands are definitely pricey.

I do believe that in the world of athleisure, you often get what you pay for yet I wondered if there were mid-priced lines of clothing that would meet all my qualifications: high waist, thicker material that doesn’t show lines or is see-through in any way, full length, sustained fit, fun designs. I decided to give a couple brands a whirl: Calia by Carrie Underwood and Fabletics by Kate Hudson are two of those brands.

1. Calia by Carrie Underwood

So I’ve seen this brand “around” for quite a while, and really, if wearing this brand gets me Carrie Underwood’s legs, I’m all in! It’s obvious the country music star trains HARD and isn’t one of those “Oh I just do yoga” kind of celebrities.  I love her work ethic and her vibe so decided to give her line of fitness apparel, Calia by Carrie Underwood, a try.

I ordered 2 pairs of leggings and 1 sweatshirt.  I showcased the 2 leggings on my Instagram Story and asked viewers to chime in as to which one I should wear the next day. The color block leg won the majority vote. After wearing these Calia leggings all day, I have to say…I am a fan!!  Now, given my druthers, I would have chosen the OTHER pair to wear first!!  I’m a fan of all black leggings, with mesh and other fun detailing. Yet these color block ones are super cute.

I did not adjust them or pull them up one time ALL DAY LONG and that is HUGE!  The waistband is a good amount of thickness and there’s a little-zippered pocket in the waistband for a runner to put a key or a credit card.  I do wish overall they were just the tiniest bit thicker but that’s simply personal preference. This is a brand worth trying – I will definitely buy another pair!

2. Fabletics by Kate Hudson

I have been hearing about Fabletics by Kate Hudson for quite some time, I know a LOT of folks who utilize the monthly subscription piece of it and my oldest daughter, Jenna,  has been wearing the Fabletics leggings for her Color Guard practices for a few months.

I decided to give it a go and focus on the Demi Lovato for Fabletics line. I ordered 2 pairs of leggings, 1 bra, 1 top, and 1 jacket. The leggings are the same style, just one pair black, one pair gray. I wore the leggings all day on Wednesday, through several workouts, and loved how they felt.  I absolutely wished they were more high-rise, but even though the waistband was lower than I would have preferred, the leggings did not fall down.

The pair I tried had a lovely smooth feel, a good amount of “hold you in”-ness ?, and held up all day long. I also wore the jacket all day and seriously, it might one of the cutest pieces I’ve purchased in a long time. Long fitted sleeves and cropped, it fits close to the body without being skin-tight and was just super cute. I wore the bra to sleep in, as it really didn’t provide enough support or coverage for my preference. I gave the top to Jenna, so she can put it through its paces at a Color Guard practice.

The Verdict is in…
Overall? I would (and have!) buy the Calia by Carrie Underwood line again. I did go back on the website and purchase 2 more pairs of leggings to try because I really really liked her color-block pair.

Would I purchase Fabletics again? No, probably not.  The styles didn’t really connect with me, the bra didn’t have enough support. Although I have to say again…the cropped jacket is so super cute, it’d be worth checking in on the website occasionally to see if there are more fun pieces like that.

What’s Next?
This week, I ordered a couple pairs of leggings from more high-end companies but that are new to me.  Emily Hsu and Nux….I have one pair from both companies, both pairs purchased while in New York City, and both companies were new to me, so I’m exploring a couple other pairs of leggings from them and will share my thoughts on those lines soon.  Stay tuned.

Final Fierce Thoughts
I absolutely believe that most of the time in athleisure and fitness wear, we get what we pay for.  I want leggings with a high waist-band, with a good amount of “hold you in”, with plenty of backside coverage, and that hold up through workouts and washings. I want sports bras that have support AND coverage {no side boob showing for this gal}.  I want fun styles that are trendy without being crazy and I definitely want stuff that not everyone is wearing. It’s not fun for me to show up to class and see 25 other women with the same leggings on…I want to be a little different, a little fun, and all me. Just personal preference! The higher priced brands are often high priced for a reason. They work and they last. With some trial and error, we can find mid to lower priced brands with some of those same qualities too!

Bottom line – when we FEEL good in what we are wearing, our confidence soars.  

We are worth the investment of something that makes us FEEL good. Our workouts are better, we work harder, we carry ourselves with more confidence, we move through life with more ease.  To some, that might sound superficial but I disagree. Getting dressed in the morning is both my way of “putting on my armor” and sharing with the world a little bit about me.  I want to feel strong, empowered, and confident…and yep, a good pair of leggings can help make that happen.

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julie voris

Mindset & Habits Coach

I help women create impact + income using the power of habits to level up their lives and have the freedom to say yes to their family.

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